Filmgraphics Entertainment’s David Denneen directs an all-star cast, led by Hollywood legend William Shatner, in Foxtel’s latest campaign, “Introducing Foxtel Broadband: Powered By Entertainment”.
Devised by Felix, Foxtel’s in house creative team, and Clemenger BBDO Sydney, the broadband campaign sees Shatner abseil into a giant WiFi modem to illustrate the ‘Powered by Entertainment’ theme.
Shatner, best known for his iconic role in Star Trek, is joined by a host of Australian celebrities, including rugby phenomenon Israel Folau; the Melbourne Housewives; comedienne Magda Szubanksi; NBA star Matthew Dellavedona; Olympic sprinter Matt Shirvington; and Formula One’s Daniel Ricciardo.
To cater to the availability of the cast, Denneen shot the celebrities out of sequence, predominantly against a green screen. Lots of preparatory work went in to careful storyboarding and the creation of a previs that was then used as a blueprint. Denneen then worked closely with Method Studios and Creative Director, Richard Swan, to create the background environments.
Filming began with Izzy Folau on day one, followed by the Melbourne Housewives, Magda Szubanksi, Matthew Dellavedova and Matt Shirvington on day two. Denneen briefed the Foxtel team via e-mail who shot Daniel Ricciardo on day three, and the last day was the big set day with Shatner and his side-kick Roger, played by Ben Bordeau.
One of the biggest challenges the team faced was not being able to shoot with Shatner until ten days before the delivery date, requiring Method to pull double shifts to ensure that the finished commercial was delivered on time.
There are always challenges on every shoot but I love solving problems, so I enjoy the process. With jobs like this, which require a fair amount of imagination and faith in the director, it can be hard on clients and agencies, but I have to say that Foxtel bought into my vision and allowed me to do my thing, which is always a great feeling for a director. It was a dream job and I loved every minute of it!
There’s nothing better than being given a script where there’s a story to be told. This one is a larger than life, tongue-in-cheek piece of entertainment with the wonderful William Shatner at the helm. It had everything I love to do as a film-maker; directing talent, designing sets and VFX. It’s exciting to work out the storyboards, do the previs, and then see it all come together over a period of a few months.
David Denneen is acknowledged as one of Australia’s top directors and among the best in the world. He has worked with Michael Jordan, Ken Griffey Jr., Shane Warne, Michael J Fox, Peter Falk, Brooke Shields, Naomi Watts, Derek Jeter, Patrick Rafter, Richard Gere, Jackie Chan, Leslie Nielsen, Sam Neill, Sir Bob Geldof, John McEnroe, Dustin Hoffman and an array of other actors and sporting stars. Additionally, he has directed the ANZ Brand Campaigns for the last 3 years featuring Simon Baker from ‘The Mentalist’.
Denneen was an animator, co-director and co-designer on the Academy Award winning short “Leisure”, produced by Filmgraphics Productions. In 2001, Denneen was among the inaugural recipients of the Australian Screen Directors Association (ADA) accreditation alongside George Miller, Peter Weir, Gillian Armstrong, Bruce Beresford, Ray Lawrence, Phil Noyce and Fred Schepisi. He is also a member of the Australian Cinematographers Association; they acknowledge the creation of a body of work of a consistently high standard. Denneen was voted by his peers as Director of the Decade for the 80’s and again for the 90’s and was honoured by the award committee into the Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2088 he released his first feature “Restraint” starring Travis Fimmel from “The Vikings”, Stephen Moyer from “True Blood” and Teresa Palmer from “Warm Bodies”.
Denneen is the founder of Filmgraphics Entertainment, universally recognised as one of Australia’s foremost film production houses. He has won every major international and national advertising award, including Cannes, Clio, LIA, Award, One Show, NYF, Adfest and an Oscar. He is an inspiration to everyone in the business for his dedication to creativity, for the mentorship of young talent, and passion he shows on every project that comes his way.
The overall campaign is rolling out across TV, cinema and digital platforms. The 30” TVC launched on October 11th, with the 60” TVC launching on October 18th.
When you work with David Denneen, you know you are going to get a first class production. I’ve been working with him for over 20 years and he always delivers. This campaign has so much entertainment and production value in it and it’s tremendous fun.
Our DoP, Russell Boyd, is the master and his lighting is sensational. The Method team did an outstanding job in delivering the CGI environments and effects. Foxtel were amazing to work with, so we’ve been blessed to come away with a great campaign and good memories – it doesn’t get better than that!
Executive Producer Filmgraphics
Foxtel: Ed Smith – Exec Director – Sales & Marketing, Chris Dick – Dir. of Customer Marketing, Danika Houghton – Marketing MGR, Jason Blair – Director of Product Marketing
In-House Creative Team: Felix
CD and Dir. of Brand: Travis Conneeley, Creative Director: Jen Speirs, Agency Producer: Micaela Hambrett
Creative Concept & Script: Clemenger BBDO Sydney
Production Company: Filmgraphics Entertainment
Director: David Denneen
Executive Producer: Anna Fawcett
DOP: Russell Boyd
Art Director: Jen Waters
Editor: Toby Denneen
Visual Effects and Post Production: Method Studios Walsh Bay
Senior VFX Producer: Tyrone Estephan
Creative Director: Richard Swan
VFX Supervisors: Andrew Lodge & David Edwards